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London: The Open Data Capital

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in London, Visualisation | 0 comments

This has been cross-posted from a guest blog post I wrote on the London Datastore. Throughout London’s history, its data have inspired innovative maps and visualisations from the likes of John Snow, William Farr, Charles Booth and Florence Nightingale, all of whom were truly pioneering in their communication of complex datasets throughout the 19th Century. A more recent and less well-known contribution to their legacy is the “Atlas of London and the London Region”, which takes pride of place in my office. Published in 1968 by Emrys Jones and Daniel Sinclair, it is a box containing 70 maps – each nearly a metre wide – that depict everything from London’s topography to...

Improving R Data Visualisations Through Design

Posted by on Nov 6, 2014 in London, R Spatial, Visualisation | 7 comments

When I start an R class, one of my opening lines is nearly always that the software is now used by the likes of the New York Times graphics department or Facebook to manipulate their data and produce great visualisations. After saying this, however, I have always struggled to give tangible examples of how an R output blossoms into a stunning and informative graphic. That is until now… I spent the past year working hard with an amazing designer – Oliver Uberti – to create a book of 100+ maps and graphics about London. The majority of graphics we produced for London: The Information Capital required R code in some shape or form. This was used...

DataShine Update

Posted by on Nov 6, 2014 in Resources, Spatial Analysis, Visualisation | 0 comments

Back in June Oliver O’Brien and I launched an interactive census map called DataShine. It has been hugely successful with a core of regular users in addition to many visitors passing who want to learn more about their area or a specific dataset. As we said back in June, the website is a work in progress so we are always looking to add new features. Two of these – local area rescaling of the colour key and data download – were launched recently at the UK Data Service‘s Census Research User Conference hosted by the Royal Statistical Society. Both are in response to people’s need to zoom in and look at...

London: The Information Capital

Posted by on Sep 30, 2014 in Featured Maps, London, Slideshow, Visualisation | 0 comments

I am pleased announce that London: The Information Capital will be published on the 30th October. It is a book bursting with maps and graphics about the world’s greatest city and the result of a year of intense work with designer Oliver Uberti. Inspired by London’s design, mapping and visualisation pioneers (think Booth, Snow, Beck) we have sought to paint a contemporary portrait of the city through its abundance of open data. We asked ourselves questions such as Which borough of London is the happiest?  Where are the city’s tweeting hot spots?   How many animals does the fire brigade save each year?  Which London residents have left their mark on history? Where are London’s most...

Population Lines Print

Posted by on Aug 18, 2014 in Featured Maps, Slideshow, Visualisation | 12 comments

Price includes postage and packaging (all prices GBP(£)), please select your regionUK 24World 26 I recently produced a map entitled “Population Lines”, which shows population density by latitude. The aim was to achieve a simple and fresh perspective on these well-known data. I have labelled a few key cities for orientation purposes but I’ve left off most of the conventional cartographical adornments. I am really pleased with the end result not least because it resembles Joy Division’s iconic Unknown Pleasures album cover, which in itself is a great example of data visualisation as art. The data, from NASA SEDAC, have been mapped many times before and in many beautiful ways but none...